Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Let's Get Physical

Let's get physical!  When I hear those words I instantly have the image of Olivia Newton John in my head.  Do you remember the chorus?

Let's get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk.

There is something to be said for getting physical. When I was young, I used to love to run everywhere. Walking to school in the rain and snow for three miles (well maybe just one mile) was just something I did.  I loved to ride my bike everywhere, especially before I had a driver's license.

But what happens when we get a bit older?

People seem to slow down.  After all, sitting at a desk in front of a computer is pretty sedentary.  Walking to the parking lot to get into my car isn't the best form of exercise.  And then when you lift your arm and a little child starts to touch that extra skin that seems to hang just a little bit.  Well, that's enough for me to grab my weights and ...get physical.

For this Weigh-In Wednesday post, I want to mention the importance of weights. I always stress aerobic exercise which is vital to improving endurance and burning calories to lose weight.  But I also use light weights every other day.

I was reviewing a book I read some years ago called Successful Aging by John W. Rowe, MD and Robert L. Kahn, PhD.  This was a MacArthur Foundation Study that showed how the lifestyle choices you  make (more than heredity) determine your health and vitality.  

Here are a few quotes from this book:
  • Pumping iron can help you lose weight.  People commonly think that only aerobic exercise has this important effect.  But science has shown that by turning up the metabolism of muscles you burn more calories.  And that translates into lost weight.
  • Weight training can make a meaningful difference in the lives of older people.  After just three months of training, older men doubled the strength of their quads and tripled the power of their hamstrings.  The muscles got bigger and stronger.
  • Weight lifting can reduce depression in older people.
Now maybe you don't consider yourself to be in the older category of life.  But developing good habits when you're younger will improve the odds of you continuing this into your older age.  And you will feel more energetic too!

So what do I do?
  • I walk on my treadmill almost every day.  (I pulled my back last week so I'm slowly getting back to this).
  • I use light weights every other day.  I do a series of two sets of 15 repetitions.  I learned a routine when I was at the Pritikin center in Santa Monica some years ago and have stuck with it.  Lately, I've found I can increase the weights as it got easier.
  • Stretching is a must as I realize I'm not that flexible.  If you don't use it, you lose it.
So, I hope you will feel encouraged to start getting physical.  The weather in Phoenix is beautiful right now.  It's the perfect time of year for a walk, a hike or a bicycle ride.  Do an activity as a family.  Teach your children and grandchildren good habits that will last for a lifetime.

I'm linking up with Kim of Just For Clicks for Weigh-In Wednesday.

Blessings and love,

Let's Get PhysicalSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Felisol said...

I agree, I agree. Somehow I do not have the willpower to train on my own, even if it is for my own good. So i lure myself into at least moving around. Gardening is my weight training and I love it. I also like photographing, and that means I need to go for small hikes. But I know it's not enough. I have read that even people at the age of ninety profits from physical exercises. I guess I need to join some form of organized training. That will do me good.At least I can do some dancing in the living room. I've got space and time. See, what you have managed. Getting me motivated to find form of exercises I can willingly do. Keep up the good work, Debbie. You are a source of inspiration.

Lea said...

Well, I definitely need to get into some kind of weight training. I've got the aerobic part covered. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of weight training. Yes, you are a source of inspiration! Hugs!

Janis Van Keuren said...

Oh! I can't wait to get back on my little Gazelle when the eye heals. I can walk but can't do anything strenuous. Glad you're making great progress. Will have to get your weight training instructions.

Sassy Granny ... said...

I'm so proud of your for continuing to maintain this focus. I've no doubt you're being rewarded in ways visible & invisible. You go girl!

As for me, I'm not quite so physical, though I do enjoy a 3-4 mile walk in the mornings. I've been carrying 5lb weights for years; one in each hand. Drivers must think I'm a crazed old lady given my flutters, lifts, etc. as I walk along singing to my Itunes.

I like being old :D

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Such good tips here, Debbie. I am inspired by you :)

Kim | Just For Clicks Blog said...

It's so funny you bring up weights and the importance of building strength.... As my back continues to wreck havoc on my workouts.... I've been focusing on walking. But as a friend and I were talking last week -- it's SO important that we build/maintain strength as we get older. Core strength and building muscles. Thanks for the reminder here! And thanks so much for {as always} linking up to WIW Friend!!!

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I love this place...Carmel, CA

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